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The Statesman

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The Statesman

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    What’s the Rush?

    What’s the Rush?

    I’m now three quarters of my way through my junior year. I have reached the point that everyone older than me has talked about- the time when all my friends cease to be my friends and become pre-med, pre-grad, pre-rocket scientist, etc. While I support them in whatever they choose to do, the MCAT and applications are not what I would like to spend all my time talking about. Understandably, it is a stressful time for everyone. Some people are anxious, some are annoyed, some are cranky, and some are show-offs. Yet what alarms me is that this experience has not seemed much different than the rest of college- or in fact, much different than the so-called ‘real world’ either.

    Everyone around me keeps talking about things that they would love to do. A lot of people are talking about how they would love to travel, and they will do so right after they get their applications in, or right after their MCAT. Others still are talking about how they are very interested in taking a summer cooking class, which they’ll look into more right after they take their GRE. And there are others who are going to buy a puppy as soon as they can take care of it, call their best friend who they haven’t spoken to in months, and so on, and so forth.

    Some of these things don’t seem as significant as others- yet, that doesn’t mean people do them any more. How much does it really take to pick up a phone and call an old friend? Yet so many people don’t make that call, and they lose touch with their friends. As people get older, the ‘would-haves’ more often than not turn into ‘should-haves’. I know this because my own mother talks about how she wishes she could have traveled. It leaves me wondering why people aren’t doing the things that they seem to want so badly to do.

    As far as I can see, in America, you or someone around you is always tired and/or stressed. Few people are ever happy, content, and cheerful or will say that they are fine. Yet this is in stark contrast to every other place I have ever been. When I visited Venice, stores opened when they wanted to and pretty much closed when they wanted to. The same thing happened in Fiji. Children attended school, but they also played outside for a great deal of the day (it could be argued that that was Fiji, of course children play outside) and for the most part, were relaxed and happy. The biggest blow came in Australia, when a guy around my age said to me: “You Americans don’t go anywhere. We have the most passports issued in the entire world. You guys have the least.”

    I’m not quite sure whether that’s true or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. In those countries, I so rarely heard the words “I wish I had.” Somehow, people who live there do. Here, as early as high school and climaxing in college, I am already starting to hear “I WOULD travel, but I’m taking this test,” or “I WOULD go to the beach today, but I’m just so tired.”

    Of course, people can’t always hop on a plane and see the world. Not everyone has the time to call their best friend or devote to a new puppy. This is unrealistic- what concerns me is that so many people never do the things they wanted to do, or they will put it off for so long they might forget about it altogether. And since I have only seen it to a large extent in this country, I have to wonder- what is it that sets America apart from the other countries that I have seen? In a positive light, it is becoming a more popular option to take time off before graduate school and medical school. I can only hope that people are utilizing at least some of this time to do all the things that they have wanted to do but haven’t yet.

    If I could convey one message from this article, and one message from my heart, it would be to do the things you want to do. To be clich’eacute; about it: live the life that you want to live, as much as you can. What is the point of putting things off and not doing it?

    There is no problem with right now.

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